_ _ _____ _ __ <*the* weekly high-tech sarcastic update for the uk>
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|_| \_| |_| |_|\_\|_| |_|\___/ \_/\_/ o http://www.ntk.net/ "...as any information coming to you via a television is
regulated by the ITC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission
and a wealth of committees and directives, you won't be able
to get porn, read the word 'fuck' before 9pm or do anything
- Josephine Munroe explains web-TV, "Time Out" magazine (p201)
...better stop reading alt.binaries.pictures.erotica on that Amiga, kid
>> HARD NEWS <<
NORWEB finally plonked their Net-over-mains-cables into the
electric chair this week, citing problems finding either
customers or investors for the innovative, plucky, British
technology. The decision to kill the tech was, we're sure,
completely unrelated to that whole "streetlamps dumping
cartloads of RF interference" rumour that we - and New
Scientist, and the Institute of Electrical Engineers - so
callously spread back when they were being hailed as the new
Edisons of the broadband revolution. Nonetheless - FALCO!
- U-turns at 60 cycles per second
At least we've got that ADSL rollout to look forward to,
right? Yeah, well - despite all our fondest hopes, the law
of lowered expectations is ruling this story too. Several
ISPs have pointed out to us that BT's pricing of
40UKP-150UKP for the average home user doesn't quite add up.
The wholesale price list for an ADSL link works out at
around 160UKP per person for service providers. The service
in question is called "IPstream Business" - despite being
the bog-standard dynamic IP ADSL setup connection. Which
begs the question, where's the cheapo consumer version gone?
Could it be that those anti-ADSL forces within BT are have
stopped a general roll-out until they can work out a way of
sneaking more money from the punters? And would that explain
why BT's ADSL triallists (whose trial was supposed to end
weeks ago) are being sent Mondex cards to play with? Do we
sniff a technology tie-in? Or even a technology lock-in?
- SPIN012 spins the story
And how surprising to read that SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE site was
hacked to smithereens this week. Judging by the - actually
pretty funny in parts - parody, the miscreants had been
planning this for some time. Which, given DNScon put out the
press release informing them (and everybody else) of the
security flaws a good month ago, that isn't beyond the
realms of probability.
- this is getting eerie
- in parts
- somebody's asking for knee-capping
>> ANTI-NEWS <<
berating the obvious
http://store.yahoo.com/vw/tracklink.html comments out
"spamming" advice, still visible in source... "Women of the
Web" picked by next SUNDAY BUSINESS includes founder of
Gnash Communications, many of its clients... exhibit A in
the ARGOS case: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990910cheaptv.gif ...
http://webmaster.info.aol.com/email.html - "Send flawless
e-mail, checked for grammer and spelling."... LINUX coders:
flakey, but honest: http://www.ntk.net/doh/990910ds9.gif ...
View Source, win a prize: http://promo.easyjet.com/ ... FEAR
AND LOATHING spam ad includes 300KB .MOV file: big
incentive... CAMPAIGN attempt lame "fake doh" -
http://www.campaign.co.uk/ ... PLANET ONLINE tech support in
mass resignation antinews... WANKOMETER clearly needs
upgrading for these guys http://www.labyrinth.ie/approach.asp ...
PSION listen to customer's needs: produce bigger, more
>> EVENT QUEUE <<
goto's considered non-harmful
Commemorating, yes, the *actual date* when the moon is blown
out of the earth's orbit in SPACE: 1999 comes not one, but
two sci-fi conventions - one made of anti-matter, each at
opposite ends of the universe. Of the main cast, only
shape-shifting Maya seems to have escaped BREAKAWAY CON
(this weekend, Radisson Hotel, Los Angeles), citing family
commitments back on planet Psychon; she does, however,
appear at TELLY BREAKAWAY (next weekend, Pontin's Sand Bay
Holiday Centre, Weston Super Mare), among such estimable
thespians as Paul "Blake's 7" Darrow, Peter "Dr Who"
Davison, two "Crusade" chicks, Guardian theatre critic
Michael Billington (Paul Foster in "UFO"), and Hartley Hare
- they could always rent a tiger instead
- two Dr Who assistants, one teacher from Grange Hill...
- meanwhile, Britain's boffins continue their foolish "meddling"
With the publishing of Simon Singh's THE CODE BOOK, looks like
historical cryptography will replace "the natural history of
Cod" as *the* cribbed dinner party conversation this Winter.
This may, possibly, be a good thing. Help maintain your
patronising superiority to these dilettantes by popping down
to Harkness Hall, Birkbeck College next Friday (1999-09-17,
1800 BST), and intercepting the communications of Dr James
Reeds of AT&T who will be decoding RENAISSANCE CRYPTOGRAPHY
AND JOHANNES "Mr Steganographia" TRITHEMIUS. Or perhaps crib
a few notes at Kellogg College, Oxford, who are offering to
get "medieval on your maths" with their weekend of
pre-modern mathematics. Forty groats to pay: telephone 01865
270380 or email PPDayweek@conted.ox.ac.uk for more info.
- Johannes was into magick too. Gotta be californian.
- ancient cyphers, invisible inks, current government policy
>> TRACKING <<
making good use of the things that we find
The spiritual warfare between Python and Perl gathers pace,
as both sides add mystical Eastern skills to their
armouries. PyChing is script which allows Python Ninjas to
scry future Perl language developments via a graphical Tk
I-Ching interpretation. But Perl users are nothing if not
resourceful in religious battle. Turning their own weakness
into a strength, the Coy.pm CPAN Perl module intercepts
error messages and dynamically prefixes a calming haiku, to
counteract any karmic damage. Expect a kill-at-a-distance
XML-RPC module any day soon.
- the sound of one's stack crapping
- my *ass*, no blame!
- and when they have destroyed each other, Eiffel will rule!
>> MEMEPOOL <<
hasta la altavista
RICHARD STEVENS drops his last packet... running Demon was
licence to print money, found CLIFF STANFORD:
http://www.ecb.int/change/images/fr200_v.jpg ... new Brit
band called .CO.UK - but what the hell will they
call their website? ... ungrateful granddaughter cam:
http://www.godhatesfigs.com/ ... we want meta-meta-meta-
meta-moderation! (Score: -2)... HASBRO buy WIZARDS OF
THE COAST: collect the set!... camp Blake's 7 villainess
SERVALAN appearing in "Ooh Stick You" video by "Daphne &
Celeste"... bonus question: how do you spell "Ms Pan Man"
(sic)?: http://www.msnbc.com/modules/quizzes/pacman.asp ...
proof - at last - we're living in THE MATRIX universe:
http://www.wired.com/news/news/technology/story/21641.html >> GEEK MEDIA <<
get out less
TV>> MIRRORBALL (1.05am, Fri, C4) turns on terrifying Aphex
Twin collaborator - and future Neuromancer director? - Chris
Cunningham... Saturday night movie romps include OK-ish
Woody Allen divorce-whine HUSBANDS AND WIVES (11pm, Sat,
BBC2), "Springtime For Hitler" Mel Brooks farce THE
PRODUCERS (12.45am, Sat, BBC2), Stallone/ Bullock sci-fi
satire DEMOLITION MAN (10.20pm, Sat, ITV), plus '70s Hammer
proto-Ghostbusters THE ASPHYX (12.30am, Sat, BBC1) - last
shown almost exactly one year ago (give or take a month or
two)... and if you're watching Graham Norton's 100 GREATEST
TV MOMENTS (9pm, Sat, C4) and they all seem to be
ultra-recent catchphrase comedy skits, then you've
accidentally tuned to BBC2's FAST SHOW NIGHT instead (from
9pm, Sat, BBC2)... don't know if this is deliberate, but
everyone says the ELVIS 1968 COMEBACK SPECIAL (11.50pm, Sun,
C4) is, indeed, a milestone in TV pop history... Jonny Lee
"Hackers" Miller heads up confusingly poetic WW1 Dr Who
spin-off REGENERATION (10pm, Sun, BBC2)... and, as if last
week's Mark "TV's The Crow" Dacascos cyber kung-fu
beat-em-up wasn't enough like The Matrix, this week's one -
SABOTAGE (9pm, Tue, C5) - even has Carrie-Anne "Trinity"
Moss in it...
FILM>> you know how your mind thinks EYES WIDE SHUT (imdb:
christmas / based-on-novel / greenwich-village / drugs /
infidelity / homosexuality / marital-crisis / orgy / sex) -
but then you type "Eyes Wide *Shit*" instead? Well, you were
right the first time - phenomenally dull plot-free ramblings
of interest only to connoisseurs of semi-nude Kylie
lookalikes. Kubrick probably died of shame but, hey, that
one-note piano theme *rocks*... "MTV Movie Award: Best
Breakthrough Male Performance" (for James Van Der Beek)
chortles the poster for MTV-produced lively high-school
gridiron cheese VARSITY BLUES ("entertainment ignominy" at
http://www.capalert.com/capreports includes: kissing on
school property; reckless vehicular activity; examining
one's self in public; "playing like gods"; adult pat on the
rear of a teen; adult underwear)... and the cannibal movie,
er, eats itself in enthusiastically confused horror Western
RAVENOUS (imdb: cannibalism / indian / reincarnation /
windigo / california / manifest-destiny / mexican-
american-war / satire / scottish / stew / westward-expansion
/ winter / cave / chaplain / fort / frontier / historical /
horses) - featuring Robert Carlyle, Guy "Neighbours" Pearce,
and - of course - Jeffrey Jones, aka Ed Rooney from Ferris
Bueller's Day Off... both better bets than ancient overrated
outdated stunt effort THE ITALIAN JOB (imdb:car)...
RED BOOK AUDIO>> if muzak be the food of love, the current
batch of free CDs belong in the supermarket: we're not quite
sure who CROSSE AND BLACKWELL's SNACK STOP "Taste Of The
UK Music Scene" disc is aimed at (UKP1.25 twin pack) -
having lulled you with oldies from Cast, Ocean Colour
Scene, Lighthouse Family and Shed Seven, it ups the tempo
with System F's friendly hard-trance MP3 fave "Out Of The
Blue"... still, at least the track listing's visible,
unlike NESTLE GOLDEN GRAHAMS' optimistic "Best Album Of The
Next Century Ever" (pts 1 and 2, UKP 1.79). #2 (the blue
one) has a slight edge (as with all 3 CDs, <30 min running
time); an intriguing compilation of slipstream future rock,
largely from bands with one-word names - Space, Antenna,
Trippa, Serum, Cable, Cuba, and Muse... oh, and the new
issue of ARCADE magazine covermounts a Wipeout 3 megamix
soundtrack CD, again only 30 minutes long... now even
Puff Daddy's covered "Public Enemy No 1", is the world
ready for a PUBLIC ENEMY tribute album, featuring that,
Anthrax's "Bring The Noise", and - of course - Tricky's
"Black Steel (In The Hour Of Chaos)"?... soundalike dept: a
nameless tipster claims that S-CLUB 7's second single
(tantalisingly named "S-Club Party", we believe) bears some
resemblance to the Spice Girls' second single, "Say You'll
Be There"; DOM "THE DOMINATOR" MCCLANE reports that the
chorus of CAPRICE's "Oh Yeah" seems like it's about to lead
into the chorus of "Bugs" by HEPBURN (a problem we have
with that "Abercrombie and Fitch" song and Bran Van 3000);
and, if you can tear yourself away from her appalling "bad
girl" acting in the video, scientists confirm that you
*can* sing "Addicted To Love" over SPORTY MEL C's "Going
Down"... and finally, we note that, even after winning last
night's "Viewer's Choice" MTV Video Award, those cheeky
BACKSTREET BOYS have failed to provide any consistent
lyrical interpretation of their "I Want It That Way"
megahit, fuelling persistent net speculation that it
"might be about anal sex"...
>> SMALL PRINT <<
Need to Know is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that
happened last week or might happen next week. You can read it
on Friday afternoon or print it out then take it home if you have
nothing better to do. It is compiled by NTK from stuff they get sent.
It is registered at the Post Office as "thank Christ it's MiniNTK next week"
NEED TO KNOW
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